Wednesday, July 23, 2008

David Levene: Haiti's Saut D'Eau

Photograph © David Levene/The Guardian -All Rights Reserved

Every year, thousands of Haitian pilgrims converge into the basin of Saut D'Eau's sacred waterfall to pray. They throw their clothes into the cascading waterfall where the faithful believe the Virgin Mary (known as Erzulie in Haitian Voodoo), appeared in the 1800s.

Haitian Voodoo was created by African slaves merged their ancestral religious traditions with Roman Catholic practices, allowing them to continue observing their ancient beliefs under the scrutiny of the French colonialists. Today, many move freely between the two beliefs.

Being in London, I gleefully peruse all the British newspapers (which stand head and shoulders above ours in terms of candid and more substantial coverage...I know, I just can't help myself), and I was glad to have seen the Spiritual cleansing in Haiti feature, a SoundSlides with photographs by David Levene on The Guardian newspaper's website.

I'm surprised that it has no intro frames with titles and no credits, but the image sequencing and the accompanying ambient audio manage to pull it together. It certainly needs some "tarting up" as they say here, but otherwise it's an interesting feature.

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